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Thread: Rise and fall on a can camera

  1. #1
    500+ Posts earlj's Avatar
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    Rise and fall on a can camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Ned.Lewis
    Pre-flashed Adorama VC RC in a coffee can pinhole camera with rise.
    Ned's lovely coffee can camera images prompt me to ask a question - how far off the center line equator of the cylinder should a fixed rise/fall pinhole be placed on a can camera? I figure that if I have one rise pinhole, I also have one fall pinhole by turning the can upside down. I'm thinking that a 1/3 - 2/3 ratio might be good (the horizon is 1/3 up from the bottom, or 1/3 down from the top), but maybe a touch more might be better. I suspect that once I get into it, my images will more often use the rise/fall hole than the equator hole.

    I better make several and shoot the same scene with each and see what happens.

    What do you guys think?
    Last edited by earlj; 02-11-2015 at 10:32 PM.
    because:
    "a squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?"
    -Don Van Vliet

  2. #2
    Good morning Earl,
    If you still have that view camera, why don't you make a cardboard lens board with a 1/8 inch "viewing" hole. Then set your bellows draw to the projection distance of hole to film. Set this up for several representative scenes requiring rise and fall, level your camera, put your dark cloth over your head, squint at the shapes, adjust your rise or fall to taste, take your measurement to apply to coffee can creations. Kinda sorta.
    All the best Earl,
    Sam H.

  3. #3
    500+ Posts earlj's Avatar
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    That makes sense, Sam. I hadn't thought of modeling the can camera with the view camera. The factor that can't be seen in the view camera is the interplay between the rise or fall and the curvature of the film plane in a can camera.

    I have a whole slew of popcorn tins, and it is easy to drill holes in them (and cover them up as well), so I think that my experiments will be with the cans themselves.

    But thanks for the suggestion!
    because:
    "a squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?"
    -Don Van Vliet

  4. #4
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    Hi Earl,

    My little 10 oz. coffee cans are exactly the right height to hold a sheet of 5x7 paper. I usually carry two, one with center pinhole and the other with "selectable" rise or fall. The two cans fit together in a single gallon ziplock bag, so if they get wet or get dirt on the outside, it stays away from other cameras I might be carrying.

    Last night I measured and the offset pinhole is 5/8" from the center. So it's not quite as far from center as a 1/3 : 2/3 ratio would be. I was puzzling over this and trying to remember how I decided, when I realized that the hole is drilled in one of the little grooves that goes around the can. So I just drilled it there because it was an easy place to drill! I do remember thinking I would start with a modest amount of rise and see how it goes... and then I got used to using it and never made one more extreme.

    If I had guessed without looking, I would have said the rise is more extreme than that, and when I'm aiming the camera I think of it as being a little more extreme than 1/3 : 2/3, but not as extreme as 1/4 : 3/4. Maybe the pinhole vignetting is why I have that impression.
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  5. #5
    One pinhole camera can have any number of pinholes. For rise, just uncover the pinhole that might give the right effect.

  6. #6
    I don't have much experience with curved film plane cameras, but have noted in general that for major division lines like horizons, I tend to favor around a 2/5 ratio, instead of the strict 1/3 "rule of thirds." That would be a division around the ratio of 0.4:0.6 versus the proscribed 0.33:0.66 convention.

    I've found the standard 1/3 ratio is often too severe, while 50/50 rarely works well; 2/5 seems to my eye to be a decent compromise.

    But it's a subjective decision, requiring some empirical testing. Or, some sliding system where it could be continuously adjusted within a certain range.

    ~Joe
    Last edited by JoeVanCleave; 02-21-2015 at 07:19 PM.
    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
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